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Hi I have a 1996 formula with the auto lt1 with stock exhaust. And I'm not sure what I should do first headers or full exhaust. I'm looking for an aggressive sound and the better the performance the best but I'm also not looking to spend an arm and leg for it.
So what's the best bang for the buck? And what should I do first?
 

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I'd do long tube headers first. This is why. If you do the exhaust first, hooked to factory exhaust manifolds, you will have to modify it once you do the long tubes. So do headers first if just one mod done.

But, it would be easier, though cost more, to do the headers and exhaust at the same time. Save your money.

Also search craigslist everyday. That's how I snagged a magniflow catback with y pipe for around $50. In great condition.

It's also good to talk to people selling things on craigslist. Ask them if they have other parts for the car. I got the magniflow when I went to pick up headlight bezels for my trans am. Asked the guy what else he had and came away with the catback and the newer style brake system for a 98-02, also at a righteous price.
 

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Ebay, $289 Pace Setter Longtubes w/ or w/o EGR
 

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Go custom at a local shop.

U should get price quotes from the local exhaust shops to compare with the aftermarket kits. I bought the 4" pipes from Mufflex:Mufflex Performance Custom Exhaust Systems Trenton, NJ and really liked it. But when i finally found a shop that would install the same shop could make 4" custom and for the same price. A good exhaust shop can do all kinds of stuff we can't do on a creeper. Y pipes, cutouts, oval pipe for clearance.

For headers the long tubes make more power but u may need to smog your car. Only smog legal headers are shorty's with 1&5/8" primaries. But for a mostly stock car that will be an improvement. I imagine it would be best to start with the headers first but a good shop will do headers and full exhaust with high flow cat in just a day - all welded - no clamps/no leaks.

I think a good exhaust shop with their own bent pipe is close in price as any aftermarket kit with several slip joints - but u have to shop around and price them out.

cardo
 

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eBay is great for headers. I bought mine from a Pacesetter vendor off eBay for $242 shipped to my door. Now I just need the rest of the exhaust lol
 
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